MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Guthrie Theater will feature Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Marx Brothers romp “The Cocoanuts,” and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” in its first season in 20 years under a new artistic director, the theater announced Wednesday.
Joseph Haj, the producing artistic director at PlayMakers Repertory Theatre in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, takes over at the Tony Award-winning Minneapolis theater on July 1. Haj succeeds Joe Dowling, who is stepping down after two decades.
“I could not be more excited about beginning my tenure at the Guthrie. The coming season will offer our patrons an exceptionally rich variety of theater-going experiences and I can’t wait to get to know our Guthrie community this fall,” Haj said in a statement.
The nine productions in the 2015-16 season are a mix of classics, popular musicals and new works.
“To Kill a Mockingbird,” an adaptation of Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel about the fight against racial injustice in the Deep South, kicks off the season on Sept. 12. John Miller-Stephany, a Guthrie regular, will direct.
Haj makes his directorial debut at the Guthrie with Shakespeare’s “Pericles” on Jan. 16.
Other productions include the comedy “Harvey,” about Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible 6-foot rabbit; “The Cocoanuts,” a musical comedy featuring music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and book by George S. Kaufman; the musical “South Pacific,” also directed by Haj; and the 2013 Pulitzer-winning play “Disgraced” by Ayad Akhtar, about a successful Pakistani-American lawyer who hosts a disastrous dinner party.
Also in the lineup are “The Events,” a production by the U.K.’s Actors Touring Company about the 2011 Norway attacks that killed 77 people; Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Inspector Hound” in repertory with “The Critic” by Richard Brinsley Sheridan; and the comedy-drama “Trouble in Mind” by Alice Childress.
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